It was one of the first real food ingredients I wrote about when I started this blog. It made the top of the list on this post. I recommended it highly and always stocked up to keep it on hand. This goes to show that we can never stop learning and never stop changing what works best for our families.
Is it butter? Did I stop buying butter?
Girl, are you crazy? I did not stop buying butter.
But I have realized that I’m buying less and less sucanat.
Why am I buying less sucanat?
There are several reasons. Allow me to share:
1. Our grocery bill is a killer. Some things had to go.
As the boys have gotten older – our grocery bill has more than doubled with their teenage appetites. I’ve found that I had to make some compromises on what I consider to be “less important” items in order to make sure we’re still eating plenty of nourishing foods. It doesn’t make sense to me for hold out on the fruits and vegetables so that we can afford to buy sucanat for our brownies.
2. Sucanat is better for us, but it is still sugar.
While sucanat does have some nutritional value, our bodies still recognize it for exactly what it is: sugar.
There is a clear difference in sucanat and regular white sugar. I love that sucanat has many nutrients still intact – so when we eat sucanat, our bodies can utilize its nutrients. Great. But I’m not relying on sucanat as a main source of nourishment. Our primary sources of nourishment come from our meals, not our desserts. If we don’t eat sucanat, our bodies won’t be deprived of important vitamins and minerals. We’re getting those from other food sources.
Any sugar – even the natural sugars like sucanat, honey, and maple syrup – can effect our bodies negatively even if they do offer some nutrients here and there. Thus, making sucanat less of a priority only makes sense for our family right now.
3. We’re eating less sugar overall.
Well, at least I am. And Matt is. The kids…well. They still like their sweets and you can read more of my thoughts on this matter here.
Overall, I’m baking fewer sweet treats to have on hand. Also, I’ve learned to cut down the sugar in the treats I do make. In summary, we go through less sucanat because I’m not stirring two cups of it into a batch of brownies every other day. Good grief, I used to. I was such a sugaraholic!!
I love only using 1/2 cup of sugar in a recipe that originally called for 2 cups – and turning out a product that still tastes amazing. Why, Betty Crocker? Why??
What I Am Using Instead of Sucanat
More and more, I’m learning to use Stevia to sweeten our treats. It has taken some trial and error to find the correct amount to use so that our smoothies, frostings, and custards will be sweet enough but not bitter. We’ve gotten the hang of it now. I love it!
I’ve tried my hand at making Homemade Stevia Extract, but I’m not confident enough in my efforts to share the recipe with you yet. I stick with NuNaturals brand, which I have found to be the best tasting with ingredients I trust.
For baked goods, I frequently use regular ol’ brown sugar from the store. It saves us money, and that is important right now.
I also still use real maple syrup and our wonderful local raw honey. But I’ve cut back on the quantity of those too now that I’ve learned that I can still turn out delicious treats with a lesser amount of sweetener!
I Haven’t Stopped Buying Sucanat Completely
I really like the taste of sucanat in certain items. I haven’t stopped buying it altogether. I’ve just stopped making it a grocery priority. I watch for online sales on sucanat at Olive Nation or Amazon and I grab it if the price is right. But I’ve definitely stopped buying 25 pound bags every few months. Whoa, Nellie. The grocery budget says “no way” right now.
So how about you?
Are you a fan of sucanat? Have you found a good source to keep the cost down? Have you found that you compromise on certain items in order to stay within your real food grocery budget?